Hearn on Andrade dropping to 168: ‘We have to try to make something happen’

Demetrius Andrade came at a point in his career when he simply needed to cut his losses, says his promoter Eddie Hearn.

Andrade, the skilled southpaw and longtime middleweight title holder from Rhode Island, has had a bemused and lukewarm run through the professional ranks so far, largely due to the fact that he hasn’t been able to to attract the best fighters in his division, such as the other title holders. Jermall Charlo (WBC) and Gennadiy Golovkin (IBF), to join him inside the ring. After winning the WBO middleweight belt from Walter Kautondowka in 2018, Andrade defended it five straight in dominant fashion against mostly below par opposition. Despite all the success he has had so far, it cannot be said that Andrade has ever captured the imagination of the boxing public. Andrade’s last fight was an absolute mismatch: a second-round stoppage of Irishman Jason Quigley on Nov. 19 at SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Now, there are reports that instead of facing WBO mandatory challenger Janibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan, Andrade intends to ply his trade – and try his luck – eight pounds north in the super division. means. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reported that Andrade was looking to face England’s Zach Parker in a playoff in which the winner would become the mandatory of undisputed 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez.

Hearn acknowledged that given Andrade’s frustrating spell at middleweight, it was high time for a change.

“We have to do something, right? Hearn told BoxingScene.com during a press conference in New York to announce the 135-pound women’s title unification bout between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano. “We cannot continue to take [low level] fighting.”

Hearn, whose Matchroom Boxing has an exclusive output deal with streaming platform DAZN, says a big reason Andrade is gaining weight is because his broadcast partners have little appetite to see Andrade trade punches for another intermediate enemy.

“From a broadcaster’s perspective, all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Do you want the Janibek fight?'” Hearn said. “Not really.”

On the other hand, it’s unclear how successful Andrade will be at super middleweight in attracting top-flight opposition. Many elite super middleweights are aligned with rival entities, such as former 168-pound titlists David Benavidez and Caleb Plant, both of whom are under the Premier Boxing Champions banner.

Hearn noted that Andrade, 33 (31-0, 19KOs), a former titleholder at 154, may need to increase in weight out of physical necessity.

“He’s struggling to do 160,” Hearn said. “We have to try to shake things up.”

It’s unclear whether Andrade should immediately vacate his WBO middleweight title in the event he drops to 168.